Saturday, November 19, 2005

Jim Oberweis is toast. Mark Kirk might be next.

NOTE: New experiment from one of the Kings of Illinois blogs, Rich Miller -- I'm cross-posting some of my posts to Illinoize, a new cross-ideological blog of Illinois bloggers that write about state and local politics and policy. It's here.

I attended the Illinois Coalition for Immigrants and Refugee Rights convention today at Navy Pier.

This is a well-organized, well-funded, very diverse and very savvy organization.

And they are making Jim Oberweis into a pinata.

They ran his campaign ad during their convention where he demonized the 10,000 job-seeking immigrants who come to Illinois every day, and the bipartisan denunciation of Oberweis was strong and it resonated.

Then, when two immigrants, a man and a woman, told their story about working in an Oberweis dairy for far less than minimum wage....well, there wasn't much steam left in the Oberweis brand for this crowd.

Up next: Mark Kirk.

Representative Kirk comments that discrimination in customs and homeland security intelligence and enforcement against young, Arab men is the next target of the coalition. They are calling quite strongly for an apology. The Sun-Times may have already leapt to Representative Kirk's defense, but I think this is a weak spot for Kirk that the coalition is pressing.

Diverse coalitions coalesce best with an enemy. Oberweis has already backed away from this anti-immigrant positions, and although the damage is done for him on any statewide race, he isn't much of an enemy any more. If Mark Kirk isn't careful, he may be filling that role of the anti-immigrant villain, which is not a good place to be for an elected official in a swing district where lots of Tribune reporters and editors live.


Amy Allen said...

So do a lot of prominent state legislators(i.e. Garrett) whom he has successful intimidated out of a run. I know you're saying it in jest, but still...

The Dude said...

Im glad that they are flogging Oberweiss for his positions on immigrants rights, particularly after it was found that he was one of the people abusing their rights the most. However, I think that groups that would be hurt the most by an Oberweis administration should keep their poweder dry and let his opponents bloody him up. In a general election, Blagojevich will beat him easily. If this scenario plays out, immigrants will continue to gain rights and protections as they did this weekend. Blagojevich (who, in case you havent heard, is the son of immigrants) has always fought for immigrants and, in the end, will be the Governor who est represents their interests and needs.

Let the politicos beat each other up. Keep the powder dry until it appears that Oberweiss is on the verge of beating Blagojevich in the general. This is a long shot, but we should let the game be played without interference...for now.

Ellen Beth said...

Amy deludes herself. Mr. Kirk meet messrs. Seals and Smith